Ergonomic risk factors and musculoskeletal disorders in bank staff: an interventional follow-up study in Iran

J Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2021 Dec 11;96(1):34. doi: 10.1186/s42506-021-00097-8.


BACKGROUND: Long-term use of computer in a static mode may cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in bank staff. Considering the high number of bank employees in different countries, such as Iran, the risk factors of these disorders should be investigated in order to implement interventions required to reduce the risk factors. This study aimed to examine the risk factors of MSDs using the Rapid Office Strain Assessment (ROSA) method and to perform an ergonomic intervention program with banking staff in Iran.

METHODS: This interventional study was conducted on 277 bank employees in Iran. Subjects were randomly divided into three groups, including a control group (without any intervention), an educational intervention (EI) group, and a group receiving both educational and physical intervention (EPI). Before and after the intervention, the ROSA method and Nordic questionnaire were used to assess the risk factors of MSDs in office jobs and to investigate the prevalence of MSDs. Data were collected 2 weeks before and 9 months following the intervention.

RESULTS: Before the intervention, the mean score of ROSA at workstations of all groups was above five with high risk. Nine months after the start of the intervention, there was a significant decrease in the mean ROSA score and its components in the two groups that received the intervention, which was statistically significant (P < 0.001). The results of the study of the prevalence of MSDs in the employees-before the intervention-indicate that the highest prevalence of MSDs in the control group was in areas of the neck (67.1%), back (64.4%), and lower back (63%). In the EI group, the highest prevalence of MSDs was in the neck (65.2%), lower back (61.6%), and back (60.7%) areas. In the EPI group, the discomfort areas were the neck (68.5%), shoulders (66.3%), and lower back (60.9%). Nine months after the intervention, there was a significant decrease in the prevalence of MSDs in the neck, shoulders, and lumbar regions of staff who received the intervention (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Nine months after performing the interventions, there was a relative improvement in workstations and prevalence of MSDs in various areas within the bodies of the bank staff. This study showed that using the ROSA method is appropriate for assessing the risk factors of office work and that it can identify deficiencies in workstations. These defects can be addressed by designing and implementing an EI program together with physical interventions according to the components of the ROSA method.

PMID:34894327 | DOI:10.1186/s42506-021-00097-8

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